Thailand’s New Data Protection Law May Prevent Free Speech.

by Admin on June 2, 2022

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

Thailand’s new Personal Data Protection Law has became official law on June 1, 2022. The law has been introduced to the public as protecting rights to privacy by criminalizing the use of private data by persons and organizations without the person’s consent. In the modern digital world, the law would have a big effect on journalists and social media bloggers.

The Data Protection law may put journalists and bloggers at risk for expressing fair comments on important political and social issues. According to Jiraporn Thongphong, a criminal defense attorney in Thailand, Unless a journalist or someone on social media can prove that comment fits within a particulars exceptions described in the new law, that person faces penalties of imprisonment for up to 1 year. The exceptions to the prohibitions on data stated in the new law include:

  1. Protecting Health and Safety
  2. Public Interest
  3. Statistical Research

However, questions such as what information is actually in the public interest or supports public safety are normal issues that are normally controversial. Hitler’s racial laws were based on public health and led to the murder of millions of innocent people in Europe. Pol Pot’s policies of economic redistribution and societal restructuring in Cambodia were also considered in the “public interest but led to the senseless deaths of millions.

Free speech is an important right and meets to be prattled against preventing overreaching laws. Moreover, Thailand’s constitution supports freedom of speech pursuant to Section 34 which states, in part: “A person shall enjoy the liberty to express opinions, make speeches, write, print,publicize and express by other means.

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